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County to work with St. Peters, drainage district to co-develop canoe route on Dardenne Creek


St. Charles County officials have agreed to work with St. Peters officials to connect a new county park, formerly the site of the privately-owned Riverside Harbor along the Mississippi River at the mouth of Dardenne Creek, with St. Peters’ 370 Lakeside Park via a canoe route on the creek.

The St. Charles County Council approved an ordinance to authorize County Executive Steve Ehlmann to enter an intergovernmental agreement with St. Peters and the Dardenne Creek Drainage District No. 3 for maintaining a portion of the creek for the canoe route. Ehlmann had previously discussed developing a “blue way” canoe or kayak route between the two parks.

370 Lakeside Park is about 3.5 miles upstream of the new county park, now known as Riverside Landing. Blockages from felled trees and other debris currently present obstacles to canoes on the creek between the St. Peters park and a crossing of Hwy. B over the creek. The same stretch runs through land maintained by the drainage district.

The district is willing to clear the obstacles if the county and city contribute toward the cost. The parties are expected to enter the agreement in August to allow enough time for the clearing work to be finished.

The bill also states that the county is willing to enter into the agreement as long as the county’s total expense does not exceed $15,000. The city has not acted on the agreement.

The bill comes after the council agreed, on May 29, to pay $336,053 to Intuition and Logic, a St. Louis-based engineering firm, for design services in developing the new park. The 7.73-acre tract is located between Kampville Drive and Huster Road along the Mississippi River. The county parks department closed on the land purchase in March.

Plans call for the park to offers kayaking, canoeing, boating and other water sports, as well as camping, fishing and hunting. The park is across the Mississippi River, from an area known as Alton Lake, which is comprised of 40,000 acres, is 38 miles long and is a popular summer destination close to home.

The new park property with existing boat ramp will open to the public in late summer. It will close this winter for a major renovation that will include the development of camping [electric and full hook-ups], a pavilion, a water play area and playground, new boat ramp and docks, kayak launch area and public restrooms. The new park is expected to open in 2019.





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